Escaping reality has always been a selling point for video games, and VR isn’t the first in a long line of peripherals that were supposed to revolutionise gaming. From the PS2 era’s EyeToy: Play, which used a camera to make you part of the game, to motion controls like those made popular by the Nintendo Wii, none have really changed the way we play games following gimmick riddled launches. However I feel like virtual reality, and PlayStation VR, are different. Immersion has never meant so much, being right there inside the game is something you have to experience, and PSVR seems ready to bring that experience to console gamers.
Looking like it was made using spare parts for Eve from Wall-E, the PS VR manages to look sleek, if not a little bulky. Having it strapped to your face makes it look like a medical brace to stop your eyes from falling out, but that’ll be the last thing on your mind once you lose yourself in the virtual world around you. Besides, it’s not like you have to wear it down the street, but at least the thick cable that runs from the back to the PlayStation gives you enough room to move about a bit, and you’ll want to. The processing unit that plugs into the headset and the PlayStation looks like a smaller PS4, and ultimately doesn’t take up too much space.
Display Size: 5.7 inches
Resolution: 1920 x RGB x 1080 (960 x RGB x 1080)
Refresh Rate: 120hz, 90hz
Field of View: Approx. 100 degrees
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope
Connection: HDMI, USB
Putting the headset on can be a bit bit awkward, due to the elastic rubber headband, especially if you have a long fringe. Apart from that, it works like a dream. The pixel density and refresh rate meant that you could look around and interact with games almost seamlessly, for a full 360 degrees. Head tracking using the accelerometer and camera is responsive and accurate, it’s only the PS Move controllers that work less than ideally in certain games where you find yourself reaching outside of the camera area.
One thing I was concerned about was whether or not you could wear glasses underneath, but I’m glad to report that you can. You can move the visor back and forth to suit, and the cushioned headband is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. While some people experience motion sickness, I didn’t really feel nauseous at any point, but going from virtual reality back to the real world can be a little bit disorienting, which I think is more of a side effect of VR in general.
The headset itself works great, and it’s a lot of fun to use. What’s really going to set the PS VR apart is the game library. At launch, there are already some great titles that really make good use of the technology. In my review on RIGS I mentioned that it’s already an example of the potential that the games for this technology has, and if Sony can keep it up, I think the PS VR could be a good competitor for the VR headset market. Retailing at around $629.00 NZ, it undercuts the Vive and still provides a lot of grunt for your games.
If you’ve got some spare space in the lounge and you can’t wait to jump into VR, then PlayStation VR isn’t going to disappoint. If you’re new to VR, it’s definitely an interesting experience, and it’s accessible now more than ever. As well as being crisp, immersive, and comfy, it’s also the closest thing to being Batman.